Title: Laser-generated Nanosecond Pulsed Neutron Sources: Scaling from VULCAN to Table-top
Citation: NEW JOURNAL OF PHYSICS vol. 7 p. 253
Publication Year: 2005
JRC N°: JRC31960
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC31960
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Neutron production capabilities of table-top laser accelerated protons based on data from a high-energy single-shot large laser are addressed. Recently, McKenna et al (2005 Phys. Rev. Lett. 94 084801) have analysed the energy spectrum for a beam of protons accelerated on the VULCAN laser. In this paper, we present a new analysis of the same experiment which demonstrates, for the first time, production levels in excess of 109 neutrons per laser shot within a nanosecond pulse through (p,xn) reactions on lead targets. We have used this natPb(p,xn) conversion analysis approach to make predictions on the neutron production capabilities of table-top laser systems. Neutron spectra for current state-of-the-art table-top lasers have been calculated, and we have estimated that current systems are capable of producing 106 neutrons per second in nanosecond pulses. Furthermore, we have found that nanosecond neutron pulses at a rate of 5 × 109 neutrons per second are possible with the next generation of table-top lasers currently under construction.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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